ALTA continues its focus on
the work of some of our peers in the literacy space. Today, we highlight our
friends at Let’s Read. Let’s Read is a registered non-governmental organization
with the aim of ensuring that every child regardless of location has the
opportunity to acquire literacy skills and books to reach their full potential.
At Let’s Read, we believe that
reading is the foundation of physical and emotional well-being, intellectual
growth and economic security. The importance of literacy development cannot be
understated and our mission to promote reading in schools and communities
Children and adolescents need
consistent access to good quality, relevant books at home and at school. Let’s
Read is working to get books in every child’s hands through four programme
Let’s Read donates age-appropriate books to
families of new-born babies attending medical check-ups with their
paediatrician, privately and through selected government clinics. Let’s Read’s
focus reinforces the importance of sharing books in the home from birth. Included
are guidelines for books from birth to 3, along with parent tips for book
sharing during the early years.
Research tells us that better school libraries result in more reading. Let’s Read partners with public primary schools to re-establish their library space so that students can explore a diverse selection of good quality books and enjoy reading for pleasure. It is Let’s Read’s hope that the library will become the focal point of the school and another space for children to learn. A space where children who struggle with reading, or just haven’t found the right book yet, can enjoy a book of their own free choice without the pressure that can sometimes be felt in the classroom. While schools have been closed due to the pandemic, the Let’s Read team has been reading aloud online to a number of children in our partner schools.
A Little Community Library is a “take a book,
return a book” free book exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the
most common version is a small wooden box of books placed strategically within
a community. Little Community Libraries encourage reading and strengthen
community ties through sharing and stewardship. It is Let’s Read’s aim to
partner with communities across Trinidad and Tobago, especially in remote areas
where children have few good books of their own at home and limited access to a
public library. It is Let’s Read’s expectation that the community members will
build the book sharing box, Let’s Read will donate a diverse collection of
books, provide a Little Community Library Handbook and ongoing guidance.
Reading is key to a child’s learning but 1 in 4
primary school students is a struggling reader. In order to adopt
research-based practices for teaching reading, teachers must be supported with
quality professional development that helps them develop an extensive knowledge
and skills base. After the reestablishment of a primary school library space,
Let’s Read’s qualified educators facilitate a workshop to acquaint the school’s
staff with the library space and encourage them to focus on researched-based
instructional practices linked to improved student literacy.
Let’s Read passionately believes that reading aloud to children before
they can even talk is one of the most important elements in literacy development.
It is important to read to and
with children for all the same reasons we should talk to them:
Reading aloud to children is an advertisement for
the wonder of print. It conditions their brains to associate reading with
positive feelings. It increases their general knowledge, improves their
vocabulary and helps them become better readers. Children discover the joy of
reading when exposed to a variety of books which get them excited about reading
and inspires them to want to do it more.
Join Lets Read in
igniting the love of reading in all children in Trinidad and Tobago, Let’s
Read. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org